Despite growing efforts to educate people about what living with autism looks like, there are still many employers in Rhode Island who mistreat their autistic workers. Workplace discrimination is unsurprisingly a commonly shared experience among men and women with autism. This prevalence of discrimination makes it difficult for victims to create and maintain meaningful careers in which they can thrive.
Autism in the workplace
Autism spectrum disorder is considered a developmental condition with a range of symptoms. Since autism does exist on a spectrum, some people might experience few symptoms that they manage with relative ease, while others might have many more symptoms and require lots of support. A few examples of things people with autism might struggle with include:
- Picking up on social cues
- Maintaining eye contact
- Changes in routine
The Americans with Disabilities Act — ADA — protects autistic people in the workplace. This means that any business with at least 15 employees is prohibited from basing hiring, firing, training or other employment decisions on whether an applicant or worker has autism. Employers must also provide reasonable accommodations to workers who need additional support. For a worker with autism, this might look like providing additional equipment or resources needed to perform a job effectively.
People with autism have exceptionally high rates of unemployment. Part of this comes down to workplace discrimination. Rhode Island employers who are unwilling to provide accommodations or who refuse to hire workers with autism are contributing to this issue, and they can often be held responsible for their actions via workplace discrimination lawsuits.